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Old April 21st, 2007, 03:50 PM   #1
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Recomend me a field mixer.

I dont know anything about field mixers but i need one.
A reasonable reliable basic one. used is fine.

I need one XLR input and one XLR output with ability to simply monitor with Headphones and adjust the output volume.

How does this process work? Does the audio boom person wear the field mixer and he can adjust the volume going to the camera? Im using a DVX100 which Im used to adjusting on the fly straight input from mic. (which I'm trying to avoid having to do if I have an audio person who can oversee this)

How does the audio person know he is not blowing out what the camera is hearing and recording?
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Old April 21st, 2007, 04:22 PM   #2
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Well I've been using a Rolls MX422 for a couple of weeks now and I can't fault it. It sounds good and is inexpensive(450 in the UK)
The sound guy who's been using it says it's as good as any other mixer he's used at 4 times the price. It's 4 channels,not sure if that's too many? If so then the Sound devices Mix-pre may be worth a try.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 05:32 PM   #3
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Sound Devices makes several that might suffice, from the MM1 preamp/headphone amp through the MixPre to the 302. A problem you're going to need to think about is how to manage monitoring levels. With a basic headphone amp there's very limited metering, if any at all, to indicate the levels going to the camera. The boom op needs to keep his eye on where the mic is aimed but to monitor levels he also needs to keep his eyes on the mixer's meters. Hard to watch two places at once so you'll need something a bit more sophisticated such as the 302 just to get the proper, more easily seen and accurate, meters that go along with it.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 12:20 AM   #4
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I use a Sign Video ENG-44. Ty Ford has reviewed it in this forum (search for ENG-44) and gave it high marks for features in the price range ($529.00).

See it here - http://www.signvideo.com/fpamxr.htm
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Old April 24th, 2007, 02:17 PM   #5
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I just need a simple way for the boom operator to be able to monitor what he is booming. And pass that audio to the camera. Mostly so he knows he is in the right spot and not booming blind. I dont even need him to be able to adjust the level cause the XL2 camera we use has auto setting which does a great job at capturing proper levels.

I tried buying a set of 99$ wireless headphones that had output from camera but was disappointed to learn that there was a 2 second delay so they were useless.

Certainly this situation should be able to be solved for about 100$ bucks i would think.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 02:36 PM   #6
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How about for $52.50?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

or $64.95 this is the one I use...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

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Old April 24th, 2007, 03:04 PM   #7
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Or this one if you budget has the room for it...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
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Old April 25th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #8
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Back to the original question: with one channel in and one out can we talk about a mixer when there is nothing to mix? Well...

It works like this: mic is fed to the mixer (or preamp or whatever the boom operator is using). Boom operator adusts the levels so that they are as high as possible but do not overload the system, i.e. no clipping happens. This is send at line level to camera. Using line levels lessens the chances of interference in cables, as the line level signal is over thousand times stronger than a mic signal.

Before any recording is done the mixer and camera (or recorder) are matched by sending a test signal from the mixer to the camera. Usually this is at 0 dBU level which correspods to -20 dBFS or digital scale. Sometimes also a full scale 0 dBFS signal is used. With these signals the audio level potentiometers on the camera are set so that the levels seen on the mixer's meters are exactly the same on camera. Now the camera operator can forget the audio levels and the levels the sound man sets on his mixer are "copied" by the camera.

When the system is set up properly and limiters on the mixer are engaged it is almost impossible to mess up the levels. I had a DVX100 and used it with the SD 302. A real joy to use the large level meters and the adjustable limiter on the SD 302. With the right setup it is almost impossible to overload the audio and get distorsion. Of course it is possible to record at too low a level, but with good meters you can catch the mistakes much more easy.

With the camera (now XHA1) and SD302 I use a breakaway cable which has headphone return to mixer. Boom operator can listen either to mixer or camera as he choses.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 08:43 AM   #9
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You want the MM1. Find the money. You need it.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #10
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This is all very helpful. Your right. The MM1 looks like the right thing for the job. or the SD302. I will buy one of these.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 08:03 AM   #11
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If you can swing the 302 you'll be that much happier, although I actually like the limiter a lot better on the MM1. You could always buy the MM1 now and the 302 later. That way your boom-op can wear the MM1 with the limiter engaged, and a separate person can monitor the mixer. It's a sweet setup (what we use).
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Old May 1st, 2007, 08:17 AM   #12
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...And then Im also planning on this:
Azden 111XT Plug in wireless - for creating a wireless boom. For ENG.
Any one know if its a good choice? or recommend me a better one?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
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Old May 1st, 2007, 08:29 AM   #13
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That's a new topic. I don't know much about wireless, but if you do an archive search you'll find that Azden is not well regarded.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 06:52 PM   #14
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I've got the SONY UWP C1, it's excellent and the price was right but the supplied omni lav mic sucks, no model number on it and it's just dull. Adding the SONY ECM 77BMP lav made all the difference but bought the whole rig up to the price of the Sennheiser G1 system which gets good nods.

Marco, can you elaborate on the MM1 limiter, why do you like it over the 302s?
Thx.
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